/ Your film of the week, May 8-13

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Blue Straggler - on 15 May 2017
Three cinema outings this week.

Unlocked. Utter guff, another "sleeper spy forced back into action - running-jumping-shooting-double-crosses" genre film starring Noomi Rapace plus a supporting cast who really should know better (Michael Douglas, Orlando Bloom, Toni Collette, John Malkovich). I only watched it because it was on at teatime and didn't cut into the evening, and because it was a London film. A few unpredictable twists but overall just rubbish. 5.5/10 for decent film-making (editing, choreography etc) and some spirited performances.

Dazed and Confused (screening as "Mystery Film" at my nearest arthouse cinema). 7/10. Seen it before and my feelings are the same - it is enjoyable enough and the period detail is fun but it all comes across as a bit indulgent and "rose-tinted" nostalgia (it is semi-autobiographical)

Alien: Covenant. 6.5/10 or on reflection maybe just 6/10. An odd one to score as I did kind of enjoy it while it was on, but afterward all I could think of were the many many bad points! Most of those bad points are impossible to discuss without revealing plot spoilers though. It does the job, it's just another Alien franchise film and this franchise is NOT sacred. Some clunking and expository dialogue, plot twists telegraphed well in advance, and a full range of acting ability is demonstrated, from the wonderful Michael Fassbender and Billy Crudup (whose performance starts to suffer later in the film when he is given truly awful dialogue), to the functional Katherine Waterston, and down to the dreadful performances from various "red jersey" disposable crew members.


So I guess Dazed and Confused is "film of the week"
Tom V - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Blue Straggler:
Watched Calvary on BBc i player.
Beautiful photography and locations and a first rate performance from Gleeson.
I think he is Ireland's answer to Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Adding Sligo to my July trip!
Post edited at 19:49
Blue Straggler - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Tom V:

Strongest opening dialogue line of any film ever, too :-o
BnB - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Blue Straggler:

The Third Man

I'm revisiting the classics with my daughter, for whom this is a journey of discovery, not nostalgia.

I'd forgotten how theatrical it is. With a cast of maybe eight plus a few rude mechanicals set against the backdrop of this vast empty city, robbed of its heart and its youth by years of war. A writer of simple cowboy morality tales finds his own Wild West in the moral vacuum and desert(ed) streets of Vienna.

Possibly the definitive British movie. Certainly the pinnacle of film noir.
Blue Straggler - on 16 May 2017
In reply to BnB:

I bought the DVD last year, must watch it some time soon.

Saw a screening at Hammersmith Riverside 21 years ago on a scorching hot day, I went to a quadruple bill of films to hide from the sun. Brighton Rock and The Third Man as one sort of double bill, and Wim Wenders' "Wings of Desire" and "Faraway, So Close" as a more directly-linked-together double bill.

In The Third Man, as legendary as Welles' "cuckoo clock" speech may be, it feels really forced and out-of-place. It is a strange story, really, in terms of Harry Lime. Is he an antihero or just an out-and-out scoundrel with no redeeming features at all?
At that screening, right at the end when Alida Valli walks straight past Joseph Cotten without even acknowledging him, one lone viewer tried in vain to start a round of applause. It fell very flat and was a bit depressing, which suited the Graham Greene-ness of the whole thing :-D
steveriley - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Watched the Scarlett Johansson sci-fi thing 'Under the Skin' with high hopes. Just found it a bit hard work in the end. Long stretches of minimal dialogue, no jokes. More worthy than watchable.
Blue Straggler - on 16 May 2017
In reply to steveriley:

I'd be inclined to agree although conversely I feel a need to watch it again as I didn't see it under the best circumstances. It is very atmospheric with lovely music, at least. I recall the ending went a bit daft. It strikes me as something you really have to be in a certain mood for. Funnily enough just yesterday I was thinking that I should watch "Her" again too (and wondering why they can't be bothered to put the Samantha Morton version on a special-edition DVD)
steveriley - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Blue Straggler:

The music was great, and the Highlands obvs
Blue Straggler - on 16 May 2017
In reply to steveriley:

And the "baby on the beach" scene too. Quite powerful and memorable.
JJ Krammerhead III - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Blue Straggler: Latest in our trawl through BFI recommended films "all quiet on the western front" 1930 (not the atrocious remake)

stunning, wrenching and haunting, perhaps the best war film ever made

Blue Straggler - on 16 May 2017
In reply to JJ Krammerhead III:

The 1978 American "made for television" version wasn't atrocious, it was quite passable. Is that the one you are on about? With Richard "John Boy Walton" Thomas and Ernest Borgnine in it?
DerwentDiluted - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> The 1978 American "made for television" version wasn't atrocious, it was quite passable.

I'd agree, as remakes go it is pretty good. Last time I watched it my biggest gripe was the Turkish rifles rather than G98's, and that's me being a pedantic arse.

Offwidth - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I'd have bet heavily that you'd oversell GotGII and undersell AC compared to most of the serious critics ;-)

Keep these threads going though...

No films yet for me this week but Hinterland was worth watching again.
Blue Straggler - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Offwidth:

> I'd have bet heavily that you'd oversell GotGII and undersell AC compared to most of the serious critics ;-)

You're talking to someone who gave 9/10 to Music & Lyrics, and 9.5/10 to Woody Allen's "Cafe Society" :-o
JJ Krammerhead III - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Yep that's the one. I'm probably being unfair as comparing it to the book (and now the original film) it was bound to come off poorly
Blue Straggler - on 16 May 2017
In reply to JJ Krammerhead III:

I am probably biased, it was my first exposure to the story and I saw it only once, when I was about 13
patrick_b - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Two recent horror films for me this week!

Under The Shadow, an amazing Iranian film about a woman and her child thinking they're being targeted by evil spirits, against the backdrop of Iraqi bombings of Tehran and the repression of Sharia law. Quality stuff, very creepy, a bit of a break from standard horror situations, with similarities to The Babadook.

The Wailing, a S Korean horror that's a bit of an epic at 2h30, but flies by. Strange murders start happening in a rural town, and people start suspecting the involvement of a recently-arrived Japanese man. Amazing atmosphere, and it properly builds into a powerful finale. It reminded me a lot of The Witch from a couple of years ago - similarly unsettling, building sense of dread.
Blue Straggler - on 16 May 2017
In reply to patrick_b:

Thanks, I didn't see Under the Shadow, it looked a bit like it was going to be generic stuff but given an arthouse reception due to being Iranian. I was massively underwhelmed by The Babadook so that's not a good selling point for me. Hmmm

When you say "The Witch" do you mean "The VVitch" from last year, set in Puritanical 17th century Salem, starring Anya Taylor-Joy? That promised so much and delivered so little :-/
Bob Hughes - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I saw Spy Game at the weekend (Robert Reford & Brad Pitt) and it was absolutely terrible. Then re-watched Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind because my wife hasn't seen anything by Charlie Kaufman and found it really boring. Switched it off with half an hour to go. I remember it being more engaging.
patrick_b - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Hmm, maybe those comparisons don't have the desired effect for you then! I'd say Under The Shadow is definitely worth a watch even if you didn't like the Babadook, it's got more going on I think.

Yep that's the one - you didn't like the goat?!
subtle on 17 May 2017
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Not a cinema going (I generally don't go as too many other people generally) but I watched the remake of The Magnificent Seven last night - omg, how I lasted to the end of this dross is quite unfathomable!

Whilst the original was an above par film of its genre, the remake was sadly lacking - and very laughable that the three remaining characters at the end were an advert for ethnic minority.

Not one to watch again, even when its free on Netflix!
Blue Straggler - on 17 May 2017
In reply to subtle:

Did you spot the subtle nod to "who remade what" w.r.t. Akira Kurosawa? It's very subtle, it's in a character's name.

I didn't find it to be dross, it was passable enough aside from Denzel's brilliant plan to give the bad guy early notice instead of giving themselves time to prepare the townsfolk. Plus Vincent D'Onofrio's character confused me, I didn't know what his skill was meant to be other than being "like a bear" I would have liked more development of Ethan Hawke's interesting character.
I scored it 6.5/10

Funnily enough I watched the 1960 film last August, a month before seeing the new one. I scored that one 6.5/10 too. It's not really that good. Nice music but lacked a Haley Bennett (I am a bit obsessed with her ;-) )
Offwidth - on 17 May 2017
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Metropolis with some old footage understood to be lost but rediscovered in S America and remastered in (scratches and all). Not sure the longer cut adds much to the version most will have seen but the film is amazing for something over a cemtury old. The mediator between the head and the hands must be the heart
Blue Straggler - on 17 May 2017
In reply to Offwidth:

Am I allowed to still really like the Giorgio Moroder disco tinted version?
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Offwidth - on 17 May 2017
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Of course.

Also watched The Mirror last night.. a bit too experimental even for my tastes but ambition, visuals and sound were impressive. Finally I sneaked in Half of a Yellow Sun when I got home from work today... a novelistic film set around a family in the Biafra crisis... good story and acting but lacked a 'connection' you sense it should have had.

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